Integrating Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media

If you have read my postings, even a couple, you are likely to know that I have really been pushing for integrated marketing. I talked about the need for a strategic balance of traditional marketing with new media. One area of great significance is the balance and planning of owned media, earned media, and paid media. There certainly are other areas, but let’s start by looking at these.

Here is how Forrester defines these media types …

So now that we have the basic definitions down, let’s talk about how these should work in an integrated fashion. I’d like to think that a picture paints a thousand words. Once in a while a single slide can do this. Now I am not talking about a complex infographic that often attempts to cram 10 typical slides in on one picture. Just one shot. (I’d like to think I’ve accomplished this with my Social Media Marketing Funnel or one slider on a digital strategy) And a little over a week ago, I was at a great session hosted by Oglivy and Facebook at Social Media Week NY and I saw this one-slider for integrating owned-earned-paid media.

It was presented by Karen Untereker, Senior Digital Strategist at Ogilvy Digital Influence, as part of her presentation on a Ford social media case. I’ve replicated this slide with some minor adjustments (not nearly as pretty as the original) and I’d like to provide you with my own “playbook” interpretation …

Looking vertically across the x axis, you can see there are three time phases defined – pre-reveal, reveal, and post reveal. It is important to recognize there is opportunity and synergy for each of these phases. I always say to my brands, we want to stretch the promotion time lapse and magnitude of the event, content, launch, etc we have planned. The integration of social media allows this to happen. You should look to keep the buzz meter maximized – both in amplitude and time.

The horizontals on the y axis are three different media types. Starting with owned media, it is good to leak some content early on. This could be in the form of a teaser, trailer, or even releasing excerpts before the big promotion or reveal. By doing so, you start to create some interests and following. It primes earned media for the official reveal, promotion, or release. Obviously the reveal or promotion time is when most of your content is released. But there is also an opportunity to produce and release content after the promotion. Content that talks to and summarizes the event or launch and reinforces the reveal in a compelling and entertaining way.

Earned media is leveraging your audience and advocates to help circulate and further promote your content. It starts by having content that is worthy of sharing. Assuming that is in place, you seed your content or provide references to it in places where your audience exists. You should focus on social media methods and tactics that make it easy for word-of-mouth (WOM) sharing (one click operations). Also, think about putting incentives to share your content (owned media). This need not be monetary incentives. Often, recognition, thank you responses, and status provoke people to share. Your “owned media” generation should be continuous as people like to share “new” things all the time.

Paid media execution takes place during the actual promotion time. This is both an economical and strategic decision. Economic because you want to minimize expenses; strategic in that it focuses at the premiere time. Maximize exposure – minimize expenses doing so.

What has been discussed here is a “playbook” for integration of marketing concentrating on owned, earned, and paid media. It is not an execution plan. The execution plan will vary for each endeavor for each brand. Do your prerequisite work as I’ve described in the past – define position, identify and understand your audience, set objectives and measure, listen, be real. See “Before You Start with Social Media,” “Simplifying Social Media,” and “Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media.”

Remember – social media is not this stand alone thing. It is part of overall marketing strategy, planning, execution, and measuring activities. Thus, orchestrating owned, earned, and paid media is the difference between creating a sonic vibe versus a ho-hum noise.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve



Filed under marketing, marketing plan, owned-earned-paid media, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

6 responses to “Integrating Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media

  1. Steve, great information, and you presented well — as always.

    Just a thought… Traditional data-driven direct marketing really should be integrated into mix when developing an overall marketing strategy. At the very least, for testing.

    • Thanks Alin – I agree that traditional data-driven direct marketing really should be integrated into mix, as well as “new media” data such as the paramters I suggest at “Measuring the Value of Social Media” – see .

      Appreciate your comments and input!

  2. The most effective online marketing strategy is NOT an individual Social Media, SEO, or PPC campaign; the most effective form of online marketing is a campaign that infuses Social Media, SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing all into one campaign.

    Marketing messages can be agreed to, applied and deployed across a range of media with a single voice, a unified understanding of the objectives and delivery mechanisms that all run parallel with each other and in the same direction.

    One strategy lies in extracting the most relevant parts of both online and offline tools to devise and deploy creative, pragmatic solutions that aren’t separate at all but deliberately con-joined.

    An integrated approach gives a client’s target audience the ability to look at their marketing mix from a number of perspectives, increasing the chances for customer acquisitions.

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